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Wendy Shurey

shares her story with Lynne Channing
Wendy Shurey is a friendly, articulate octogenarian who, as you will see, is extremely proud of her family both past and present.

Wendy Mabelle Phillips was born to Mabelle Mabs, (nee Elstead) and Winton Henry Phillips, at the Mildura Base Hospital on January 18, 1939. Her father drove her mother the 74kms to the Mildura hospital for Wendy’s birth. He then had to leave Wendy’s mother there and return straight away to Werrimull for work. Her father had taken over the private practice of Dr Tom Buxton at Werrimull in the Millewa. The Werrimull Bush Hospital had fourteen beds at that time. Life in Werrimull was challenging as there were no phones, no electricity and the only refrigeration was a Coolgardie safe. Water had to be carted to town as the channel from Lake Cullulleraine to Werrimull only ran once or twice a year. Five days before Wendy was born there were devastating bushfires raging in the area. The trip to hospital in Mildura took place on a day which was 118 degrees Fahrenheit. There was of course no air-conditioning in cars back then. As it turned out Wendy was born just days after Black Friday on January 13, 1939. The Black Friday fires burnt five million acres in Victoria and claimed 71 lives.

Other Stories

Mallee Living Histories

The Mallee’s Living Histories full editions are available for purchase from Princes Court Community Living Shop.